Spicy Ground Bison Meatballs

Mexican spices provide south-of-the-border flavor in these Spicy Ground Bison Meatballs. Served with avocado hummus, they make a perfect party appetizer, or serve these healthy Mexican style meatballs with cilantro or red rice as a tasty main dish!

2 mini paella pans with spicy ground bison meatballs, avocado hummus, and pita triangles on a marble background.
Ready for a party… spicy ground bison meatballs with avocado hummus and pita triangles!

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Bison Meatballs

Have I been on a ground bison kick lately? 🙄 Definitely. In the last several weeks, I’ve brought you easy ground bison tacos, a delicious ground bison burger, and a collection of ground bison recipes.

I initially created this spicy meatball recipe for ground lamb. In fact, I left it in my ground lamb recipes page because ground lamb is delicious combined with these Mexican spices. Feel free to use your preferred ground meat.

My decision to switch this recipe to a “ground bison” recipe was twofold: 1. Bison is a healthier red meat, and 2. Readers were not finding my ground lamb meatballs. Lamb is associated with Greek or Mediterranean meatballs, not Mexican meatballs. Given the budding trend and increased availability of ground bison, I’m hoping this deserving meatball recipe gets more exposure!

These healthy ground bison meatballs come together so quickly, and require a simple spice mix that has become a “fixture” at Andersen casa – cumin, unsweetened cocoa, ancho (or other red chile powder), and cinnamon. We love this spice mix, and I’m looking at options for making it available to my followers in 2022!

I highly recommend serving your bison meatballs with this avocado hummus. This avocado lime crema or this homemade chamoy are great options as well. Your guests will love these healthy meatballs at your next holiday or Super Bowl party!

📋 Ingredients Notes

Ingredients for ground bison meatballs: Ground bison, Mexican spice blend, egg, panko, garlic, and onion.
  • ground bison – Keeping these meatballs lean makes ground bison an excellent choice, but you can use ground lamb, beef, pork, turkey, chicken, even elk!
  • spice blend – If you’ve made my mole spice blend, I have specified an amount for these meatballs. Otherwise, you’ll need unsweetened cocoa powder, ground cumin, ground red chile powder (New Mexico red, ancho, chipotle), and cinnamon.
  • garlic
  • panko bread crumbs
  • egg
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

Ingredients for the bison meatballs in a glass prep bowl.
  • Preheat oven. Gather ingredients, then add all ingredients to a mixing bowl.
Thoroughly mixed meatball ingredients in a large ball on a wood cutting board.
  • Combine thoroughly. Hands work best!
Bison meatballs are formed and placed in a mini muffin pan before baking.
  • Form about 12 meatballs. I like to bake them in mini muffin tins. When using lean ground bison (or other lean ground meat), you will want to use a non-stick spray on the muffin tin or baking sheet. Place in preheated oven. While the meatballs bake, make sides.
  • After about 10 minutes turn them. Bake another 8-10 minutes until firm and browned. Ground bison should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F and the juices should be clear, not red. NOTE: Ground bison maintains its pink color inside when fully cooked. See How to Cook Bison for more information. Bison is lean, and you want to avoid overcooking it.
  • This meatball recipe is really that easy!
Fully cooked spicy bison meatballs in the muffin pan with creamy avocado hummus.

💭 Tips

If you’ve made a jar of my mole spice blend, use 3 teaspoons!

The mini muffin tin makes it easier IMHO, but you can bake them on a baking sheet. I find it’s easier to turn them with the support of the sides, but you’ll be fine…

Make a double batch, and freeze half (uncooked) in a zip bag for a future meal.

Use a 100% red chile powder like chipotle or New Mexico red chile powder. Generic chili powder is a spice blend, and will throw off your proportions.


Why bake bison meatballs?

Meatballs are typically cooked 1 of 3 ways: 1. Formed and baked. 2. Formed and fried in oil on the stove. 3. Formed and dropped into hot liquid. My preference for low fat and lower calories drives my tendency to bake (rather than fry) my meatballs. Another benefit of baked meatballs, though, lies in the fact that they don’t require standing at the stove and diligently watching over them turning one at a time as they brown.

Can I make these Mexican lamb meatballs in advance?

Yes. I recommend covering and warming in the oven rather than in the microwave.

Can I freeze my meatballs?

Absolutely. I prefer to freeze the raw ground lamb mixture and make the meatballs just before serving, but baked meatballs do freeze well. Put them in a freezer zip bag. Thaw and reheat as suggested above.

🧂 Useful Stuff

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

Mini Muffin Pan
Locking tongs
Mini Paella Pan Set
A close up of a mini paella pan with 3 bison meatballs, avocado hummus, and pita triangles on a red napkin.

Meatballs are a great make ahead option for entertaining, and I hope you’ll give this somewhat unique bison meatball recipe a try! Cheers!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

A black and white speckled mini paella pan with 3 meatballs, a scoop of avocado hummus, and pita bread.

Spicy Bison Meatballs

A Mexican spiced ground bison meatball that makes a delicious appetizer or main course!
5 from 3 votes

Click to rate!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 meatballs
Calories 96 kcal


  • 12 ounces ground bison - lamb, beef, pork, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ancho - chipotle or New Mexico red chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • several grinds fresh ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection).
  • Add all ingredients to a bowl.
  • Combine thoroughly. Hands work best!
  • Form 12 meatballs. I like to bake them in mini muffin tins (see photo).
  • Place in preheated oven.
  • After about 10 minutes, turn them. Bake another 8-10 until firm and browned.
  • Serve warm/hot with chosen accompaniments.


If you’ve made my mole spice blend, use 3 teaspoons.
You can substitute your favorite ground meat or poultry if bison is a problem.
Chipotle powder or New Mexico red chile powder are great substitutes for the ancho. Generic chili powder is not! It is a spice mix, and it will throw off the balance of the spices.


Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

🧆 What can I serve with bison meatballs?

Share this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Nothing wrong with being on a lamb kick. Being a lamb lover, I appreciate the creative recipes you’ve been creating using it. These meatballs do like the type of meatball that stands on its own, no sauce or fancy condiment required. And I love the way you use the little muffin pan.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season Tamara!